Health Food, Fun Food and Food of a Questionable Nature

The great thing about being a personal trainer is that people don’t like to train on weekends or holidays.

As a result, I typically get Saturdays off work.

Why then, would my alarm go off at 5:30 this morning?

And why was on I on the streetcar eating a yogurty mess for breakfast at 6am?

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For a race of course!!

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No no no, I was not running. All my race goals for the season went out the window when I decided to be a vagabond then move halfway across the country this summer.

Instead, I was up early to hand out healthy protein bars to the hungry runners at the Toronto Women’s 5k & 10k :)

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That would be me and Cathy, creator of The Simply Bar, handing out the goods.

Cathy and I e-mailed a little bit before I moved to Toronto about how much I love the bars. I told her I wanted to get involved somehow when I got to the city and she introduced me to their ambassador program. Today was my first official event with them!

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For those of you that don’t know, The Simply Bar is a high-protein, low-calorie bar similar to a flavoured rice krispie square. No, I am not getting paid to be an ambassador. But I do get a lot of free deliciousness for my time ;) I genuinely love the bars and just hope I can get more people loving them too. It’s all about spreading the foodie love, ain’t it?

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I had a lot of fun hanging out and chatting with Cathy, fellow ambassador Lauren, and all the people at the race! Running events are so much more relaxed when you’re not one of the participants.

After handing out healthy treats to people all morning, my day took a very sharp turn in the other direction.

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First, I fuelled with carnival-inspired eats – veggie dogs on an english muffin (the only bread in the house), carrots, smoked cheese and pickles. Admittedly, there was a little too much ketchup on there, but it did get me ready for the Canadian National Exhibition! Basically like the exhibitions we have in New Brunswick, but a million times larger :P

Usually I’m not into big crowd-fests such as these, but there were two things I really wanted to experience at the CNE.

1) Canada’s favourite TV chef making chocolate chip cookies

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My roommie and I got stuck in some kind of streetcar hell on our way to The Ex, so we arrived 20 minutes late for the demonstration. Thankfully he was still into it when we got there.

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Chef Michael Smith hosts a Food Network show in Canada called Chef At Home based out of his house on Prince Edward Island (yay Maritimes!). He’s one of those chefs whose recipes line up exactly with “my kind of foods.” He uses all simple ingredients, putting them together easily. Not to mention, I am totally jealous of his pantry.

We missed part of the cookie demonstration, but he did stress that it’s okay to be laid back when making cookies. Nothing needs to be that precise. Also, he said baking the cookies on top of two stacked cookie sheets will help keep them from burning on the bottom!

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The place was packed!! Callie and Sarah’s heads are in there somewhere. I briefly got to say hi… but you should check out their recaps since they saw the whole thing!

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No. Thank you Mr. Smith. I’m available for breakfast at your P.E.I. home any time.

Sarah also tipped my roommie and I off to a Vitamix demonstration at the back of the giant building we were in.

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Megan and I then proceeded to get sucked into four demonstrations including two fruit smoothies, a hot broccoli and cheese soup, and ice cream. We were lucky we made it out while we did, or else we would have been there watching those things pulverize ice all night. Amazing.

Instead, we stumbled outdoors, for we had a second mission in mind.

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First, we needed a refreshment.

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M-m-megan! She’s my roommie. And loves foodie adventures as much as I do :)

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The sign didn’t lie. This stuff really is freshly squeezed, shaken, and loaded with half a cup of sugar. Approximately.

Next, we needed something of substance for our final mission.

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I have never heard of mini donuts as a popular fair food before. But then again, I haven’t been to many fairs.

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Action shot of the teeny rings of dough being plopped into a vat of hot oil by a giant machine. And a reflection of my pasty legs.

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I am such a sucker for powdered sugar. Especially when fried dough is involved. I had two and they were crispy and delightful!

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Then we were off in search of the item we really came all this way for.

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At last, we found the building that housed it.

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I always thought this kind of stuff was a myth up until now.

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Apparently, we were not the only ones on such a quest.

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We waited in line for almost an hour, during which I watched them take cubes of butter, cover it in a doughy batter, then bathe it in bubbly hot oil.

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That, my friends, is deep fried butter. I had heart palpitations just looking at it.

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Finally, it was our turn at the window…

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Megan and I ordered what we waited almost an hour for…

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What?? You think I care about doughy butter or a twinkie on a stick?? No way!! I want me some of the bacon covered in chocolate!!! (not to be mistaken with chocolate covered bacon, which does not sound nearly as extreme).

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People around us were going nuts over this food. They were either extremely excited or moderately horrified. There is a lot to be said for novelty.

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Thoughts?? My bacon peanut butter is better. The bacon was too thick while the chocolate too thin and runny. Definitely more of a bacon flavour here.  Megan and I are opening our own stand at the CNE next year. One that sells thin crispy bacon covered in a hard chocolate shell, and deep-fried marshmallows in a crispy cornflake-like shell. Our tent will be plaid instead of pink. Or in the colour of jeggings ;)

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Just when I thought things at The Ex couldn’t get any crazier, we watched a man in a bear suit go down a zipline. It was in this moment that I finally understood why all the Toronto locals told me I had to come experience this event. I feel like there are some things about this city I really get now :)

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Including this majestic looking arch which I never knew existed until today!!! I swear I discover new places here every single day.

The rest of my day was very simple. Cuddled up watching MTV reality shows. Ate a dinner consisting of tuna salad and a sweet potato covered in Trader Joe’s Corn Salsa.

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Dessert was simple as well – a Simply Bar ;)
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The newest flavour – Caramel. In a 100-calorie (10g protein!) snack-sized bar.

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Cinnamon may have a new contender as my favourite flavour. Wow. This one is a winner! At first it tastes very peanut buttery, but then I got tastes of burnt caramel, then buttery caramel. Mmmmm…

I think I’ll take that over bacon covered in chocolate any day ;)

 

Looking forward to what Sunday has in store! Have a great one! xoxo

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Posted on August 28, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. I REALLY want to try those Simply bars! I have contacted the company but haven’t heard back. Is there anyway you could hook me up with some samples? :) Perhaps a swap, if not?

  2. So jealous you got to see Chef Michael Smith in action- he’s one of my Food TV favourites!My family used to go to the CNE every summer, it was a long standing tradition that my brothers and I looked forward to every year!
    See you tomorrow!! :)

  3. the simply bar looks like a delicious rice krispy treat! yum!

  4. Wow, now THAT is fair food! Fry me some dough and cover it in sugar.. who could resist :)

  5. Ohhh boy that fair food was pretty impressive! There’s a booth at the calgary stampede with that kind of stuff, deep fried cheesecake kinda stuff

    I’m so jealous you got to see Micheal Scott! I watch him every morning and I’m totally with you on the pantry thing
    Hura for Canadians! =)

  6. Aww. Im so glad you went to the CNE
    I used to go ever year but haven’t been in a couple summers. my parents tell me tales though about how different it used to be back in the day, the food hall and all the free samples.
    Don’t know if you ‘ve read or heard of it, but the Booky series of books ( young girl living in toronto during depression era ) has an awesome book that has a chapter on her experience at the CNE :) A good read

  7. OMG BACON AND CHOCOLATE! Heaven!

  8. Wow! those mini donuts look so good, I haven’t had one in AGES! it looks like a fun day, all those exciting foods.. mmm! I want to go to a fair too :D

  9. Wow I bet that chocolate covered bacon was sweet and salty heaven! x

  10. “teeny rings of dough being plopped into a vat of hot oil by a giant machine.”–As a child, my FAVE thing ever was mini donuts and growing up in Minnesota and the MN state fair and also restaurants open year round that are based on fair-food, let’s just say, you can always get mini donuts. I used to suck them down with tons of powdered AND white sugar :) Omg LOVE Them. I also love fairs, rides, carnies, games of skill and chance and pretend to be an unathletic dumb blond til then give me extra chances, shot, balls, etc and i proceed to snag huge stuffed animals. Omg I wanna go to the fair with you!

    And congrats on Simply, the race, awesome post!

  11. oh my goodness!! I was at that race, at that table, took a sample, greeted the two ladies there, and did not even realize one was you. And your blog is in my google reader. I win for observation skills. (can my excuse be that I was preoccupied with thoughts of the upcoming race?)

  12. Love Michael Smith, his pantry is AMAZING.

    I can’t even begin to understand why someone would want deep fried butter, omg! Chocolate covered bacon sounds & looks interesting! In my meat-eating days I would have totally tried that.

  13. Those bars look delicious and I love that they are only 100 calories so they really can be a snack, unlike so many of those bars out there! Good for you for waking up early to help out :)

  14. Wow, deep fried butter….oh lordy help us. lol. That does sound like quite the experience! (And I love the cookie sheet idea because I always burn the bottom of my cookies!)

  15. Looks like SO much fun! I can’t wait to go to the CNE next week now!

    PS… we so still need our Morocco bloggerdate :D

    xo
    Kris

    • Are you going to see Anna Olson?? I think I’m one of the few who really like her :) And YES to Moroco soon! I’m free most evenings this week, but away for the long weekend.

  16. Wow looks like you had a fab day! all those yummy treats would have given me heart palpitations too! x x

  17. Susan- your pics are amazing! Our pictures of the caramel bar are not nearly as good as your! That bacon really does look gross but if I could eat wheat, I would be all over those little donuts. And nothing beats that lemonade if you want a total sugar rush.
    A million thanks for your help yesterday! Cathy of the simplybars

  18. Those Simply Bars look awesome! Right up my alley with the high protein. I just might have to order some! The Texas State Fair is known for it’s outrageous fried food selection…I’m doing a post about it in the next few weeks when the Fair opens. Each year, they announce a new “fried” product. :)

    • Yesyesyes, you must do a fried food post just for me ;) This year the “big thing” at the Toronto Ex was the deep fried butter. It’s been all over the news for weeks!

  19. What an amazing day!!! I absolutely adore Simply Bars. The cinnamon one is my favourite so far, but do you have any idea when/where the caramel one is available??

  20. OH MY GOSH I AM SO JEALOUS! i love cathy! i cant believe you got to hang out with her, i cant believe she got to hang out with you, i cant believe i am not allowed into your country!

    that looks like it was so fun, i would love to volunteer at a race. what a blast. simply bars are my favorite. the lemon ones! YUM! but i want to try that new flavor.

    and then to go meet michael smith, WOW your really had a great day! that event looked like tons of fun. he seems like a fantastic chef and person. ha.. i love the vitamix demos, too. captivating.

    i cannot believe that line! that is seriously jaw dropping. deep fried butter.. it just sounds right. and those donuts look great. i am not sure about the bacon, though, i know it is a foodie sin but i dont really like bacon! aside from the occasional BLT. i have a feeling you could make better chocolate covered bacon!

    wow, you are living it up! thanks for sharing your adventures :)

  21. oh and PS change that “cinnamon” to “caramel” ;)

  22. When I read deep fried butter I almost lost my lunch. Seriously!??! Vomit.

    I probably would have tried the deep fried mars bar. I’ve heard otherwise healthy people confess that it’s kind of amazing.

  23. So much to say about this post!

    1) I’m so jealous of Michael Smith’s pantry too!!! Love his show and so jealous you saw him!
    2) Where was that food stand?! I went with my family and although none of us wanted to try them (I’ve had a deep fried Mars bar however and greatly agree with it) but we couldn’t even find the damned stand!
    3) I’ve never had a Simple Bar but LOVE the concept, where can I get some?!
    4) You’re awesome.

    • It was on the midway?? Down from the midway stage. I think it may have actually been the only stand selling those things and that’s why the line was so long. We actually went to the information booth and asked them where we could find the chocolate covered bacon :P

      Simply Bars – Loblaws, Natural Value, Bulk Barn (that’s where I find mine!) and most health food stores.

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